Josh Sitton was named to the Pro Bowl.

Bears G Josh Sitton: Pro Bowl satisfying after sudden team change

SHARE Bears G Josh Sitton: Pro Bowl satisfying after sudden team change
SHARE Bears G Josh Sitton: Pro Bowl satisfying after sudden team change

When the Bears signed guard Josh Sitton a week before their first regular-season game, he had played 121 NFL games, all for the same team. Sitton hadn’t been the new guy, or learned a different system, since the Packers drafted him in the fourth round in 2008.

That’s what makes his Pro Bowl berth — Sitton made the NFC team when his good friend and former teammate T.J. Lang bowed out Monday with an injury — so rewarding.

“I hadn’t had to deal with something like that before,” Sitton said, “so I guess I just learned that it’s really not that big of a deal to make a big transition like that.”

Learning the Bears’ offense in less than a week was stimulating, he said. Sitton started the opener at left guard, and rookie Cody Whitehair switched to center.

“As athletes, we get caught up in what we’re doing every day and our little routines, and to me, that was a big deal,” he said. “But I realized that I could just do it, and it wasn’t really that big of a problem.”

Sitton’s third consecutive Pro Bowl nod, and fourth overall, is satisfying, given that the Packers released him two months after he turned 30.

“The first [Pro Bowl] is probably the best one, and then the older you get, the more you appreciate them,” he said. “You can’t play at a high level in this game forever, so I don’t know if I’ll ever get back — you don’t know these things. . . . The whole age thing makes it more special. I’m still young, though.”

Reporting to Orlando, Florida, for the game Sunday, alongside teammate Jordan Howard, will scuttle Sitton’s dinner plans with new offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn. They’d agreed to meet in Mobile, Alabama, where the Bears are coaching the Senior Bowl.

Sitton said he’ll miss the fired Dave Magazu — “He was one of those salty old guys that made me laugh all the time,” he said — and that he doesn’t know his new coach well.

“I’ve been doing things for a long time, so I’m not going to change a whole lot about how I approach things,” Sitton said, “but it’ll be interesting and exciting.”

Having more time to mesh with his linemates will help.

“I think that, honestly, for being thrown into the fire like we were, and Cody switching and me coming in last second, I think we had a heck of a year,” he said. “We can only get better now that we’re going to be able to have an offseason together.”

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

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